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History of Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Parish Church Hr. Main

History of Saints Peter and Paul
Roman Catholic Parish Church
Hr. Main



It was under the aegis of Father Ewer that the first church was built in Harbor Main. The building of that first church is an interesting story in itself. On August 9th, 1811, the Governor, Thomas Duckworth, wrote to the Anglican Clergyman, Amadeus Anspach, and stated that he was sending to Anspach "a memorial from the R.C's of Holyrood, Bacon Cove and Harbor Main to erect a chapel in Harbor Main. The governor asked Anspach to inspect the area and send him a dispatch so that a grant could be issued, but the Roman Catholics had not settled on a place, however there were two places that they were thinking; one that was given by George MacDonald and one by Mrs. O'Neil before she died. The chapel was eventually built somewhere between 1811 and 1818. From the time the church was built until 1833, Harbor Main and the area at the Head of Conception Bay bounded approximately by Brigus and Holyrood was still serviced by the priest from Harbor Grace. In 1824, the Parish of St. Patrick's at Brigus Was established and Harbor Main became part of it until the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul was established in 1857. Father Kryan Walsh was the first Parish Priest of Harbor Main, however, little is known of his administration since the records for this period were kept at Brigus and were burned in a fire that destroyed the church there in 1913.

The Parish of Harbor Main stsswohed from Turk's Gut to the South side of Holyrood and although churches and eventually separate parishes were established at Salmon Cove (Avondale), Cat's Cove (Conception Harbor) and Holyrood for most of the period between the death of Father Kryan Walsh and those of the two O'Donnell's, the larger area of the Parish was administered from Harbor Main. The present day church was built under the guidance of Father R.M. Shean, a native of Brigus and was completed in 1917. The church has received many renovations since this period, especially the electric lights and fixtures. Some of the fixtures, if not all, are the ones that were originally installed in the early 1920's.

Information and Records for Saints Peter and Paul
Roman Catholic Parish
Hr. Main

P.O. Box 89
Harbor Main, Conception Bay
A0A 2P0

Telephone and Fax #:
(709) 229-3237
Fax #:(709) 229-3237

e-mail address:

Home page:
None Available

Father Tony Hageman

Mrs. Theresa Dalton

This church opened in 1857 and records prior to that would have been at St. Patrick's R.C. Parish in Brigus (1824-1857) ; Immaculate Conception R.C. Parish in Harbor Grace (1806-1824). All records for St. Patrick's in Brigus burnt in 1936. These records included the years covering the Conception Bay Central parishes from 1824 to 1857.

Anyone researching the areas from Holyrood to Colliers should also look at the St. Paul's Anglican Church in Hr. Grace from 1775 to 1806 for earlier records and you will be surprised to find some entries there, as well they should also check the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in St. John's, as entries have been found there as well.

Following are the records that are available at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Harbor Main as well as at the PANL.

Baptisms (1857-1899) Box 1 Reel # 14 (1877-1899)
Marriages (1857-1906) Box 1 Reel # 14 (1857-1905)

There are no Vital Statistics Volumes (DPHW) available for this Parish They do have the All Newfoundland Births - Vital Statistics Division microfilm available for this parish at the PANL for the period from 1891 to1926 for baptisms and from 1891 to 1922 for marriages.

The death records for Sts. Peter and Paul Parish start from 1944 onwards There are microfilms at the PANL from the Vital Statistics Division from 1891 to 1949 for deaths.

The following are the Cemeteries that were/or used:

Assumption R.C. Cemetery:

Located on the borderline of Avondale - Hr. Main. In the oldest part of the cemetery, when the cemetery was used for the residents of Hr. Main and Avondale, you will find a lot of people that were residents of Hr. Main buried there. Today this cemetery is used for the most part for the residents of Avondale only, however, if a family in Hr. Main has a plot there, then there are still some burials for some of the Hr. Main residents.

R.C. Irish Cemetery:
Located behind the residence of Joseph Woodford and across from the Gorman's Fish Plant in Hr. Main. This is located at the Cross in Hr. Main (Intersection of the Conception Bay Highway and the Harbor Road of Hr. Main) This cemetery has not been used in years.

R.C. Cemetery - Hr. Main:

This cemetery is located behind where St. Joseph's School used to be in Hr. Main and is basically where the Nuns and some priests are buried. It is not used today.

Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery:
Located in what is known as Gallows Cove of Hr. Main and their newest cemetery.

Chapels Cove Cemetery:

Located on the ridge in Chapels Cove and is the cemetery used today for the residents of Chapels Cove. Years ago

There was another cemetery, where the community hall is built today. Apparently some of the headstones Were transferred to the newer one on the ridge, however, the remaining broken stones and all the graves Were bulldozed into a large hole behind the Community Hall.

A list of Priests who have served the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul:

1806-1833 	Parish was served by the Parish Priests of 
Hr. Grace (Immaculate Conception)
1995-1997	Parish was served by the Parish Priests of 
Brigus (St. Patrick's)
1996		Patrick Ward (curate under the Parish Priest of Brigus)
1840's		Rev. Kryan Walsh
1849-1856	Rev. Edward O'Keefe 
1995-1997	Rev. Kryan Walsh, PP.

1863-1877	Patrick O'Donnell (assistant to Rev. K. Walsh - 
		known as the Snow of the Mountain because of his hair 
		and knew no bounds. He went on side calls as far as 
		Bay Roberts on one extreme and Indian Point on the other.  
		Both O'Donnell's were associated with Hr. Main Parish 
		from this period till their deaths.  During their life 
		time the parish stretched from Turk's Gut to the south 
		side of Holyrood and although Churches and separate 
		Parishes were established at Salmon Cove and Cat's Cove 
		and Holyrood, the large area was administered by Hr. Main 
		and the two O'Donnells. 

1877-1885 	Rev. Joseph V. Donnelly
1886-1887  	Rev. James Brown, PP
1887-1891  	Rev. P.W. Browne, PP.
1891-1906	Rev. Patrick O'Donnell, PP
1906-1911  	Rev. John Roe, PP. (referred to as 
"Johnny the Whip")
1911-1927  	Rev. Richard M. Shean, PP. (a native of Brigus)
1927-1958	Rev. M.P. Dwyer, PP.
1958-1969	Rev. Jeremiah Howard
1969-1980	Rev. Linus Coady
1980-1983	Rev. James Glavine
1982-1983	Rev. Linus Coady (second term)
1983-1987	Rev. Michael Walsh
1987-1990	Rev. William Houlahan
1990-1994	Rev. Edward Bromley
1991-1993	Rev. Ramon Bolates
1995-1997	Rev. Wayne Cummings
1996-present	Rev. Brian Dunn



I would like to thank Teresa Dalton, Secretary of the
Hr. Main Parish for sending me the photo and history of the parish.

Contributed by Judy Barker (July 2000)

Page Revised by Craig Peterman (February 2004)

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